SPOILERS INCLUDED in the second part of the review!!!
This Is Us is created by Dan Fogelman whom you might recognize his work as a writer on ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’. Without spoiling the twist of the first episode of Season 1 the story is about the lives of different people and how they are dealing with everyday life and it’s problems. It stars a stellar cast including Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Sullivan.
This first part is SPOILER FREE so I won’t be talking about a lot in detail in terms of the review. So this is an extremely well-written season. It was clearly planned very carefully in terms of certain episodes and events. The acting is top-notch especially Mandy Moore who brings the tears in the Superbowl Episode. She wasn’t the only one though, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz and Sterling K. Brown basically the whole cast does an amazing job with their performances. Like last season Siddhartha Khosla delivers with the score which thankfully is now out. This whole season is full of emotion and while yes, there are plenty of tears shed, it is balanced out with humor and heartwarming moments. So if you are debating whether or not you should watch it, stop reading this review and go watch it, thank me later.
So this season we see a lot happen, every character goes through one hell of a roller-coaster. I’m not going trough the season in chronological order because the review would be split into a review for each episode because each episode has so much to say and it does in a brilliant way every single time.
So the season starts with Jack and Rebecca agreeing to take a temporary break. By the end of the first episode it is heavily implied that Jack dies in a fire and the way it went back and fourth in their relationship specifically during their fight and how vulnerable Jack was due to his drinking problem really helped the impact of the reveal much more. This season we get two trilogies in my opinion The Big Three trilogy at the end of last year which was actually marketed as a trilogy and Jack’s trilogy. The latter is split up in three because it is shown in three stages: the day leading up to his death (That’ll Be the Day), when it actually happens and the aftermath (Superbowl Episode) and the funeral (The Car). These three are easily some of the best work on TV I’ve ever seen from the performances, the story, the score and especially the writing. What makes these three episodes so tragic and emotional is the painfully realistic aspect of the tragedy. Mandy Moore said in an interview how the saddest moments are the realistic ones. Jack’s last words to Rebecca were: “Bec, you’re in front of the tv.”. Also his cause of death was also realistic, Moore said that as a fan you were expecting this big, cinematic event but in reality he died of cardiac arrest. Those little details make this believable but most importantly they do the characters justice. Speaking of the characters the teenage actors for Kevin, Kate and Randall were phenomenal.
This season we are introduced to Deja and her arc in this season was one of my favorites because of the character development and her interaction with Randall and Beth. The Deja-centric episode: ‘This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life’ is one of my favorites this season. Again character development is a major player in this show as shown in The Big Three trilogy. What I loved so much about those episodes is how it stripped down the characters emotionally and we got an even deeper look at them specifically Kevin’s episode: ‘Number 1’ which basically shows how a lot of emotion can burst when you hold it for too long. That theme is really evident in this season due to Jack’s death and how the family dealt with it. For example we see each Pearson member deal with their own method of grief on the Superbowl which is really fantastic how a show can show you an event in the past and see how it affected the characters today.
There are a lot of themes explored this season, with a show this realistic there were quite the number of difficult topics discussed like miscarriage, failing as a parent, loss of a loved one, kids losing their father, alcoholism. If I remember correctly I remember Dan told Milo that although Jack died, it was just an episode in their life, the show plays out as if you recorded your whole life on tape and choosing to revisit some tapes. Jack’s death was one of those tapes. Now, the finale. Overall I loved the finale, tears were shed mostly happy although those Old Jack scenes were heartbreaking. Scenes with no dialogue that last only a few seconds shouldn’t evoke that much emotion but that’s how good this show is. The only flaw and it’s not really a flaw is the 1 year flash-forward the show takes and Katoby isn’t happy. I mean I still haven’t watched Season 3, obviously no one has but do they really need another sad chapters in their life. To be honest I thought it took it a bit far. Also did they hint that Beth dies because I get this show loves parallels but we don’t need the show to pull off another Jack on us. Obviously these aren’t flaws because none are confirmed, I just hope that the show won’t go in that direction since it can get a bit repetitive. By now I think I made it clear that I think this show can do no wrong. I love the stars, the characters, the writing, the score, the performances and that’s why I’m going to give the second season of This Is Us an